I am in need of advice. I am travelling into Bolivia in the next couple of weeks and will be doing the salt flats, the jungle in Rurrenebaque etc.. i have about a month from when i get to bolivia )from Peru) to when i fly out of Rio.
My question is, from Bolivia, should i go into northern argentina , down to BA, up to Iguazu and then to Rio (for the 17th August) or should i go from Bolivia into the Pantanal (Brazil), down to Bonito and over to Rio.
Can i reasonably get through Bolivia, down to BA and then up to Rio in a month without rushing it too much?
What does everyone think?
In going from Bolivia to Argentina, alot of people take the Uyuni salt flat 4 day trip, but break off from their group and catch a separate bus instead of returning to Uyuni. However, the only route available went to chile (san pedro de atacama) and not argentina. From san pedro, alot of people catch a bus to Salta (in northern argentina). San pedro is fine, but it is more expensive than bolivia and argentina and the buses into argentina arent daily (well, at least when i was there)--not to mention changing money for a few days is a pain.
I'm afraid I cannot speak to the Pantanal route, but I would say you would be doing yourself a disservice if you are in the area and you do not check out BA and Iguazu. I'm not sure on distances and/or worthwhile stops from the south of Bolivia to BA, but you're looking at about a 20 hour bus ride from BA to Iguazu which can be done all-at-once I believe. I would think with a month you'd be able to get all of what you want in, though I wouldn't dally too much. Buenos Aires is an amazing city and the Falls are a can't miss if you ask me. You'd also be able to check out some of Uruguay if you wanted to on a ferry that leaves out of BA. Could be some worthwile stops like Florianopolis on your way to Rio as well. Just my two cents, I could be wrong on how much time, however, as I was coming from the south when I was there.
Have you looked in the political situation in Bolivia? I haven't followed too closely in the last couple weeks, but I know that in the past month they were in the middle of some serious protests and road blockades making it difficult to travel around. It may be cleared up by now, but I'd look into it beforehand.
I would be disapprovingly shocked if you missed out Buenos Aires, a truely amazing capital, and Iguazu, and I have to say it, the best thing I have EVER seen in my life. It beats Galapagos, it beats all of Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador and Mexico so far i thought it was that cool.